I said a couple of days ago that Brazil's selection of a Swedish fighter, instead of a US-made plane, was directly attributable to the NSA snooping scandal, and I expanded on that yesterday. Now Reuters confirms the direct link between that scandal and Brazil's choice.
Rousseff had spent the first two years of her presidency edging closer to Washington, fending off pressure from leftist elements of her Workers' Party and scheduling a rare state visit to the White House for last October.
Snowden's documents, many of which were published by Brazil-based U.S. journalist Glenn Greenwald, revealed that Washington had spied on Rousseff's personal communications, those of state-run oil company Petrobras - which Rousseff once chaired - and countless Brazilian citizens.
Rousseff could not understand why Washington would spy on an ally with no history of international terrorism, aides said. She reacted by canceling her White House trip, despite attempts by U.S. President Barack Obama to ease her concerns, including a one-on-one meeting on the sidelines of a G20 meeting in Russia.
This week, she made a decision she believed would hit the United States where it hurt most - its pocketbook.
Defense analysts struggled to recall a major contract decided on such grounds.
"The irony is that we expected politics to play a big role, but always on the selling side, not on the downside," said Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst with the Teal Group. "Then things went horribly wrong with this NSA story."
. . .
... a person who had been pushing for Boeing angrily questioned whether the intelligence obtained from Rousseff's communications justified possibly losing the deal. "Was that worth $4 billion?" the person asked rhetorically, speaking on condition of anonymity.
There's more at the link.
Congratulations, NSA. Quite apart from your blatant wrongdoing, you've just cost the US economy $4.5 billion on this contract alone - not to mention the billions already lost in sales of US computer hardware and software. If this goes on, you'll be directly and immediately responsible for losses in excess of a hundred billion dollars over the next year or two. I hope you think it was worthwhile . . . and I hope Boeing sues you to recover what it can of the income it lost on this deal.